Every day 5,000 Australian children will require medical attention for an accident and more than one child will die as a result of their injuries.
The statistics from SafeKids SA are alarming, but many accidents are preventable.
The problem is most parents lack the necessary first aid training to be able to deal with situations when they arise.
Although there are a variety of first aid courses offered through organisations such as Red Cross and St John, there are still many families without even basic training.
Melissa Oudshoorn, the St John Regional Cadet Officer for Metro North West, says more people should be aware of courses available to them, such as the ‘Caring for Kids’ Certificate.
The course is aimed specifically at parents and covers CPR, assessing emergency situations and dealing with a range of childhood injuries and illnesses.
Mrs Oudshoorn says accidents can occur at any time and people, especially parents, need to be prepared.
“A few years ago I was out shopping when I saw a girl having a serious epileptic fit. People were ignoring her because they didn’t recognise the symptoms and assumed she was mentally impaired. My first aid training kicked in and I rolled her onto her side to stop her choking and called an ambulance”, she said.
“You never know when you’re going to need to save someone’s life”.
Mother-of-two Matilda Paul knows from experience just how dangerous public incidents can be.
Her daughter was eight years old when she fell at a party and was badly injured.
“Her leg was bleeding so much we didn’t know where the blood was coming from”, Mrs Paul said.
She admits it would have been helpful to have someone in the room that knew first aid. Unsure of the extent of the injury, she panicked.
“We had a first aid kit but no one was really sure how to use it”, she said.
“I think first aid training isn’t just about dealing with the injury, but also how to cope in a situation like that so you don’t panic”, she said.
Mrs Paul was surprised no one at the party knew what to do. “After my daughter’s accident I just kept thinking, ‘I wish I had learnt first aid’.”
Mrs Paul is now a strong believer in first aid training and urges all parents to put aside the time and money for a course.
Mrs Oudshoorn agrees and says course fees are a small price to pay in exchange for peace of mind.
“First aid is something everyone should have, or at least one per family”, she said.
“If just one person has training, it’s the difference between a loved one dying and surviving.
“It really is a life saver.”
St John’s ‘Caring for Kids’ course runs for six hours and costs $60.
For more information please visit: www. stjohnsa.com.au
Enquiries: 1300 360 455
First Aid Training: 1300 360 455
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